'Heartwarming' ride recap

Thanks to ride leader Mark Spurgeon for a fantastic experience and this write-up!

Seventeen adventurous cyclists departed Whole Foods at Easton for the final Year of Yay! ride of 2016. Despite the 22 degree temperatures, smiles and good cheer were in evidence throughout the group. Perhaps it was Jeff Gove’s twinkling holiday lights that set the mood, or the anticipation of our stop at the Ohio Herb Education Center and Geroux Herb Gardens, a resource center in Gahanna—Ohio's Herb Capital (who knew!?). 

 Jeff Gove, festive as always! Photo credit: Michelle Blaney

Jeff Gove, festive as always! Photo credit: Michelle Blaney

The Nafzger-Miller house, in which the Herb Center is located, was a welcome respite at the halfway point on our 10-mile route. The house is on the National Register of Historical Places, but the more exciting thing about it to us that day was its holiday ambiance and, frankly, its well-functioning furnace! The Center was humming with activity, as little ones awaited their audience with Santa Claus, eager to share their holiday wish lists.

 We peeked in but ultimately left Santa to the kids! Photo credit: Michelle Blaney

We peeked in but ultimately left Santa to the kids! Photo credit: Michelle Blaney

 Learnin' all about HERBS! Photo credit: Michelle Blaney

Learnin' all about HERBS! Photo credit: Michelle Blaney

Several riders took advantage of the close proximity of Bicycle One to fortify their winter-riding attire before embarking on the second leg of our ride. An unanticipated highlight of the final leg was the picturesque view along Olde Ridenour Rd, the park and golf course lightly dusted with snow, as we traveled north after departing Creekside Gahanna. 

Among the more experienced riders were several novice and first-time Year of Yay! participants, myself included! This was a very congenial group, as the new riders were made to feel welcome and supported. Tips and tricks for beating the cold, and for making winter-riding pleasurable and safe were a favorite topic. Overheard were a number of spirited discussions about the merits of merino wool vs. lycra as we tackled some brief, but challenging sections on Granville St. and Morse Rd. Despite the freezing temperatures, and holiday shoppers in the throes of gift-giving fervor, the Heartwarming ride was deemed a success! 

 As usual, the crew enjoyed food & beverage aplenty at Whole Foods Market after the ride. Photo credit: Michelle Blaney

As usual, the crew enjoyed food & beverage aplenty at Whole Foods Market after the ride. Photo credit: Michelle Blaney